The sweet alchemy of Tecolameco

A Portuguese sweet that I never tasted while I was there. I will have to rectify that!

Salt of Portugal


At the end of a wonderful meal at Flor de Rosa, a great historical hotel in Crato, Alentejo, the maître d’ brought us two slices of a dessert called Tecolameco. In our quest to eat fewer sweets, we decided to have only a small bite to be polite. But once we tasted this marvelous dessert, our will power vanished.

Tecolameco is made of sugar, eggs, almond, pork lard, butter, and cinnamon. There are many other Portuguese desserts made with these ingredients, but none tastes like Tecolameco.

It is said that an old chef found in the Crato castle an ancient book that revealed the meaning of life. All the pages had been torn out except for the one that contained the recipe for Tecolameco.

Click here for the Pousadas’ website and here for more photos of Flor da Rosa.

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9 thoughts on “The sweet alchemy of Tecolameco

  1. Oh dear, Susan, I got TERRIBLY excited, drooly and drivelly………..until I read ‘Pork Lard’ and then turned a little pale and faint. I am vegetarian, and one of my favourite treats is the Portuguese version of custard tarts, and I have a horrible feeling,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


    1. Ah, but the pasteis de nata do not have pork fat in them. They use butter…is butter banned? Nothing gets killed. They are a favorite of mine. Unfortunately I am now gluten sensitive and cannot eat them. Some time I may see about making a gluten free pastry.


      1. Oh, Susan, you have really really made my evening. I thought I would never be able to eat them again. I’m not vegan, butter eaten here, pasteis de nata the food of angels, and I can happily visit the deli that sells them and continue the treat.

        Gluten sensitivity is very challenging, I think, though I guess, as it becomes ever more widespread there are more alternatives and gluten free ranges. It just needs a pasteis de nata lover who is gluten free to open up this niche market………..


        1. All’s well that ends well. My eldest daughter and I both have a penchant for those sweet treats ourselves. She is also gluten sensitive. The vicissitudes of life. We manage mostly well. It is better than being ill all of the time. And there are more alternatives for certain. She makes lemon curd and it is quite satisfying if one likes sweets. Alas that I have not found (yet) how to make decent pastry gluten free.

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